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Investigation project for Y9

Discussion in 'Science' started by homesal, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    It may be the silly season getting to me but I could really do with some help. I am trying to plan an investigation type topic for a very low ability y9 set of all boys (many with EBD).
    I need it to be inclusive of as much "safe" practical work as possible. These boys are really disaffected and I really want to enthuse them but I keep coming up empty!
    Any helpful suggestions would be gratefully accepted.
    Thanks Sal
    PS Merry Christmas [​IMG]
  2. To be intrinsically safe, I would rule out most chemistry type investigations.
    There are some physics ones which could detriorate into "poor behaviour" such as "how far can an elastic-band-powered vehicle travel" whilst electrical topics really need some sort of measurement, which may be beyond them.
    An interesting biology topic might be "how do cress seeds grow if watered with different amounts of salty water" but the counting might be too much and the time delay would not be attractive.
    So I would go for a number of simple exercises which could be carried out easily and reasonably quickly. One of my favourites was to have a "house" (inverted cardboard box) with a "fire" (12V light bulb) inside it, with a thermometer sticking out of the house so that it could be read from outside the house. The position of the bulb is relatively unimportant, so long as it remains constant. Switch on the fire and record the temperature every minute - most of my weak pupils were able to predict that the house would warm up and settle at a constant temperature (although they might not be able to express this as "heat in = heat out").
    Just setting up and taking one set of results lasts one lesson. Plotting graphs is a problem.
    Then pupils could alter a factor, such as decorating with wallpaper, putting in carpets, opening windows (holes). They enjoyed doing it, appreciated the relevance of it and were able to discuss the concepts of fair tests and hypothesising (if not in those terms [​IMG] )
  3. Thanks so much for this idea. I really appreciate it, I was beginning to go around in ever decreasing circles!

    Thanks again Sal

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